Japan to seek foreign ministerial talks with North Korea in early August if Trump-Kim summit a success

Tokyo has conveyed its interest in talks between Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono (left) and his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho.
Tokyo has conveyed its interest in talks between Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono (left) and his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho.PHOTOS: REUTERS

TOKYO - Japan is mulling foreign minister-level talks with North Korea in Singapore in early August if progress is made at a high-profile summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un towards dismantling Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and missile programmes, government sources told Kyodo News on Tuesday (May 29).

Tokyo has conveyed its interest in talks between Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho on the sidelines of the Asean Regional Forum from Aug 1 to 4, they said.

Both ministers are expected to attend the forum.

However, the meeting would not go ahead if the planned summit between Mr Trump and Mr Kim is called off or fails, the sources said.

Japan hopes the talks will pave the way to a summit with North Korea with a focus on long-stalled negotiations over the abduction of Japanese nationals by Pyongyang decades ago.

The countries last held a foreign ministerial meeting in Malaysia in August 2015, at which no progress was made in resolving pending issues, reported Kyodo.